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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1995 Feb;(311):278-86.

Androgenic regulation of bone mass in women. A review.

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  • 1Center for Clinical Nutrition Research, St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10025, USA.


In men and women, androgens and estrogens circulate at levels consistent with biologic activity. However, the effects of these steroid hormones on bone metabolism were thought to depend on the gender of the individual; that is, estrogens were thought to regulate bone mass in women, whereas androgens were thought to regulate bone mass in men. It now appears that both of these sex steroids influence bone and mineral metabolism in women. Although a number of clinical studies have indicated that androgen levels are correlated with bone mass measurements in women, it was speculated that androgenic hormones acted on bone tissue indirectly. It now has become apparent that androgens act on bone tissue through a direct receptor-mediated mechanism that may involve growth factor synthesis. The purpose of this review is to examine clinical and basic research aimed at elucidating the mechanism of androgen action on bone tissue in women.

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